I made a brief return to Copeville in South Australia’s Murray Mallee in the winter of 2021.
It was a quick trip to photograph what I ‘d seen on previous trips, but had failed to photograph the subjects in black and white with a large format camera, even though the subject matter I’d seen suited a large format approach. I recalled that the last time I was in Copeville was in July 2019 — pre-Covid times — and I had camped overnight in a nearby quarry.
On a latter trip in 2020, when I was staying at Kapunda with friends who were walking the Lavender Federation Trail, I used my time to trace some of the old railway lines in the Murray Mallee that had been pulled up in the 1990s. On that 2020 trip I primarily concentrated on exploring the old Eudunda-Morgan railway line.
Whilst on the 2021 trip I made a detour to Copeville to photograph this caravan with a very basic 5×4 Sinar F monorail (which is what I was using at the time) and Ilford black and white film. I’d previously seen the caravan in 2019 as the quarry I camped in was just down the road from Copeville.
On both the 2020 and 2021 trips my interest was in representing a historical trace of the old Mallee, as well its absent history. I thought that the old caravan standing amidst the ruins of an old stone building was a good historical trace of previous lives. I reckoned that the traces of the old railway lines represented absent history.